Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Turner’s ranch to appeal denial of wolf permit

Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch will ask the state Game Commission on Thursday to overturn the department director’s denial of its permit to host endangered Mexican wolves in southwest New Mexico as part of the federal government’s recovery program. The commission rejected the Ladder Ranch’s request in May to renew a permit that had been in place for 17 years to hold Mexican wolves in captivity – an attempt, wolf advocates say, to throw a wrench in the reintroduction program. The commission’s denial of the Ladder Ranch permit was the first of several contentious decisions this year that have pitted the state against the federal government’s plans to reintroduce the Mexican wolf into the wild. In September, the commission denied the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s request for permits to release Mexican wolves and pups in New Mexico, citing concerns about the government’s long-term plans for the program, including the lack of a target number for the wild population. Weeks later, the service said it would use its federal authority under the Endangered Species Act to go forward with releases despite state opposition. “I’m hoping that we can find a way to go forward together,” said Mike Phillips, director of the Turner Endangered Species Fund, which runs the Ladder Ranch. “Everybody has to be mindful that the Ladder Ranch facility is just wolves in captivity.” The Ladder Ranch, outside the Gila National Forest, acts as a way station for wolves bred in captivity before they are released by Fish and Wildlife in New Mexico or Arizona. Fish and Wildlife has relocated wild wolves to New Mexico at times since the reintroduction program began in 1998, but the agency has yet to introduce “new” wolves into New Mexico – those bred in captivity – under the authority of a new management rule that went into effect earlier this year...more

Funny how the enviros are usually suing the feds for NOT having a they defend least on this issue.

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